5 quick questions with Emily Mudoga
Emily Mudoga (‘Better Lives for Dogs’ Campaign Manager, Africa) is a vibrant woman whose passion for animals and empathy for people makes her vital in our work to end the inhumane culling of dogs in Africa. She has an infectious laugh and over 18 years veterinary and program management experience.
She has travelled the world, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Have you always loved animals?
As a little girl I spent many happy holidays at my grandparents’ and auntie’s farms in rural Kenya. So I have always been around animals.
But most of all I’ve always loved cats and dogs. At one point we had ten cats and seven dogs living in our family compound. My parents taught me how to respect and care for them.
How are dogs treated in Africa?
In Africa, the dog is a vital member of most households whether in the urban or rural settings. But in Africa things can be complicated because here dogs can carry rabies, so they can be seen as a threat to human life and also to livestock. Because of this, as well as poverty and lack of proper knowledge of animal welfare, dogs tend to get a back place in the household and the community.
Do people trust dogs?
They do not. Many families have been touched by rabies. There is panic because it is a real problem and kills people. Many tragedies exist. I met a doctor who told me of how all three children in one family had been killed by rabies. Very, very sad.
Is the ‘Better lives for dogs’ campaign helping to change this?
Yes. Vaccinating dogs against rabies and educating our people are the only ways to prevent this terrible disease. Right now we are working in the Makueni district in Kenya to make it safer for both people and dogs. We want both to be able to live in harmony.
Will the campaign work?
I am intent on having the same success with this project as we have had in Zanzibar. There, dogs were disliked culturally by people who also had a great fear of rabies. It was as though they were total enemies. Now because of vaccination and education, dogs and people are like one. It has been a total transition.
How can you help?
To protect even more dogs around the world, we’re raising funds through World Animal Protection gifts. Every meaningful gift you choose could help to save the lives of innocent dogs and protect animals all around the world.